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💰💰💰 | On money, old and new

On My Mind
💰💰💰 | On money, old and new
By Martin Wiesemborski • Issue #17 • View online
Huh, not that much going on this week, so this newsletter will be a bit shorter than usual 💁‍♂️ I will make it up to you next week, I promise.

Old money
I stumbled upon this post on LinkedIn by Thomas Winandy, who by his title is Head of Mobile Banking Apps at Commerzbank. He announced a new version for its mobile banking app. Commerzbank is one of the biggest banks in Germany, so I was excited to see what they will have to offer. Especially because they supposedly worked on this new version for about 2 years.
So what are the big new features? What does the future of mobile banking look like? Unfortunately, I still don’t know. This brand new app is so boring and has nothing new to offer besides the rare minimum of features we all have got used to from other banking apps.
But hey, the app is now also available in English. What a major achievement. Bravo, Commerzbank. 🎉
No wonder private customers are leaving in masses and the B2C branch of the bank is highly unprofitable. When you spend two years working on an app and even establish an in-house agency tasked with the development, and all you got was this lousy app… you have fundamental problems.
New money
As you can see with Commerzbank, there is much to improve in the banking world , or better ‘fin-tech’. And there are many startups competing, trying to become the next major player in Germany, Europe and the world. Some of them are quite successful, like N26 (Germany), revolut (UK) or Klarna (Sweden), but many fail. Which is obviously common for startups, not everyone can be successful. Still, Ramin Niroumand thinks this has become a problem in Berlin, the center of German fintech. In his opinion, there are too many me2 or copycat products out there that don’t offer any new value but still get seed funding and the salaries have gotten too high.
Fresh money
Two interesting IPOs were announced this week.
The first is by the We company, the company behind mostly WeWork but also some other services like WeLive and WeGrow. Many are sceptical about for different reasons: Softbanks massive investment is at least curious, so is the money one of the founds borrowed from the company under… uncommon circumstances. But one of the main reasons: WeWork is burning through cash like craaazy, spending $1.37 billion this years already. In comparison, they spent $396M in 2016 and $677M in 2018. That’s quite an expensive growth.
The second IPO announcement came from Cloudflare and this one is interesting as well. You might not know Cloudflare, but you have definitely used it the past. Cloudflare is basically the backbone of the internet, powering many of the biggest websites and services. It provides security against attacks like DDoS, offers scale and performance due to their CDN, DNS routing and many more products that are essential for the so called “internet”. So when Cloudflare is facing some issues, you will notice. Which makes Cloudflare and its IPO pretty important.
Gone money
Haha oh boy, here we go again. Cryptocurrency is like a rollercoaster and right now, we’re going down. It looks like bitcoin will drop below 10k, which is pretty bad news for everyone who has money invested in the currency or any of the altcoins.
Crypto, and bitcoin especially, is still so weird to me and even after serval years of reading about it, I’m still super confused about its feature and if it will ever be successfully.
Facebook’s Libra is one attempt to launch a stable currency, backed by major corporations, that could allow for a de-centralized(-ish) financial market - but who knows what politics has to say about it.
Gone money II
I mean, this image says it all. A lot of money or should we say valuation is gone. Tumblr had some bumpy years and it now got sold to Automattic, the maker of WordPress, for under $3 Million. Ouch.
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Martin Wiesemborski

I'm a freelance UX strategist. Think of this newsletter as everything that is on my mind (hence the name): New and emerging tech and design trends, tools and ideas that I stumble upon and think are worth talking about.

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